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The bulimia recovery advice I'd like to share today is about feeling full after eating - and how to overcome this.
When I first got serious about bulimia recovery, I slipped up time and time again after eating a regular sized meal or snack. What made slip me up was that 'full' feeling...
My body was so used to vomiting that when I didn't vomit, and allowed the food to digest - my belly bloated up and I felt awful.
That full feeling would trigger me to think...
"There's no way I put up with this feeling, I have to purge - but if I'm going to purge, I may as well binge first"
...and so I'd end up binging and purging - all because I felt full.
My mind was telling me that the full feelings would last forever - that I had ruined my digestive system beyond repair and my food would simply never digest.
As the weeks passed I realized I had to stop buying into those stories... that I would have to put some trust in my body and give this digestion thing a really good shot!
I took it one meal at a time and at first only focused on the mornings. As I felt capable, I began holding down more and more meals each day. It was a roller-coaster journey - but despite my fears, my body did heal!
Given a bit of time, my digestive system started working effectively again and the fullness didn't last that long after meals... Given a bit more time, and a bit more work on recovery - my body healed altogether :)
The feelings of fullness after eating returned to normal... I could eat regular amounts and still feel comfortable... it felt like heaven :)
Since beating bulimia I've worked as a recovery coach and more recently as a mentor in my online Bulimia Recovery Program... I've noticed that this feeling of fullness is an issue for so many women... But I've also seen that those who manage to move through it, take massive strides towards lifelong recovery.
Here is some simple bulimia recovery advice which allowed me (and many women I have coached) to move through these feelings of fullness...
1) Wear lose and comfortable clothes in bulimia recovery, especially after eating!
I can't emphasize how important this is! In my recovery I started wearing baby doll dresses and loose flowy shirts... They helped me feel comfortable and confident, even if I had a full and bloated tummy! Do yourself a massive favor and buy some clothes that can help you do the same.
2) Try not to drink a lot of fluid with meals
I found that drinking fluid with my meals (especially fizzy drink) made the full feelings twice as bad. Having a small drink of 200ml or so was okay, but I tried to keep it small. I found sipping on a water bottle all day (small frequent sips) a much better way of hydrating myself that resulted in less of a full feeling.
3) Remind yourself "This too shall pass"
When I was recovering from bulimia, I repeated those 4 simple words "This too shall pass" time and time again! They acted as an important reminder that what I was going through (the fullness) was temporary - and that if I was patient, it would pass. Write "This too shall pass" on a post-it, and place it somewhere where you see it frequently throughout the day.
4) Allow yourself to rest!
I was lucky enough to be on uni holidays during the hardest days of my eating disorder recovery. This enabled me to use a powerful tool to fight the feeling of fullness... Sleep!
After lunch each day, I would crash on my bed and sleep for at least an hour. This was fantastic for two reasons...
1) Sleeping allowed me to give my body some uninterrupted time to digest my food... when I woke up, I'd feel less full and more able to continue with the day binge and purge free.
2) During recovery your body is hard at work healing, building muscle, developing new habit, etc, etc... All of this uses energy... And it's very common to feel tired in the early weeks and months of bulimia recovery. Going for a snooze after lunch each day allowed me helpful and healing rest.
In this article I've shared bulimia recovery advice which helped me in my journey - I believe it can help you too. The thing with good advice though, is that it's worth nothing unless it's put into practice...
So please precious soul - put this advice into practice...
Allow your body to begin digesting food again. I know it can feel difficult in the beginning... but I promise that your body will heal!
The only way out is through - and I know you have what it takes to move through the feelings of fullness and bloating... all the way to health, happiness and freedom!
So much love,
Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community